B&A News Brief – Consumer Protection for Payment System Services

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On 16 January 2014, Bank Indonesia issued regulation No. 16/1/PBI/2014 on Consumer Protection for Payment System Services (“PBI 16/2014”) with immediate effect.

The regulation has two broad purposes:

–     strengthen consumer protection in regard to payment system services by improving:the reliability

and

– transparency of the services;

– the protection of customer data generated by the services; and

– the effectiveness of responses to customer complaints concerning the services; and

–     increase customers’ understanding of their rights and obligations with respect to the services.

The operators of payment system services under PBI 16/2014 are banks or entities other than banks which have obtained a license from Bank Indonesia to provide payment system services (“Operator”).

In the four months before PBI 16/2014 was issued, Bank Indonesia received 480 requests for information and 71 customer complaints concerning payment system services. The requests for information related largely to the supply and deposit of monies (53%) and monies paid electronically (41%). The majority (61%) of complaints from customers concerned credit card payments.

The consumer protection provided under PBI 16/2014 encompasses clearing instruments and/or funds withdrawal, funds transfers, payment card (APMK) activities including credit cards and ATM/debits, electronic monies, and money deposits.

RIGHTS, OBLIGATIONS, AND PROHIBITIONS FOR THE OPERATORS

Rights

PBI 16/2014 gives an Operator the right to accept consumers of its payment system services in good faith and to collect accurate and clear information and/or documents relating to the consumer.

Obligations

PBI 16/2014 obliges the Operator to protect consumers who use its payment system services by:

1.  serving each consumer equally;

2.  obtaining prior written approval from the consumer if the services result in a cost to the consumer;

3.  providing consumers with costs guidelines;

4.  providing reliable services;

5.  taking responsibility for any loss to the consumer resulting from a wrongful act by its qntlistrator or

employee;

6.  providing consumers with information on the benefits, risks and possible consequences of using the

services;

7.  providing consumers with convenient services facilities;

8.  keeping consumers’ data confidential;

9.  enabling consumers with special needs to easily access the services;

10. having a mechanism for handling consumer complaints;

11. having a dispute resolution unit to resolve complaints;

12. having an active system to monitor the actions and decisions of its Board of Director(s) or

management in order to protect consumers; and

13. conducting socialization and educational activities on consumer protection in respect of the services.

Protections 9 to 13 become mandatory from 1 July 2014.

Prohibitions

In relation to its payments systems, PB 16/2014 prohibits the operator from:

– providing a consumers’ data and/or information to a third party;

– charging consumers when they lodge complaints; and

– charging consumers when supplying and/or depositing Rupiah.

PROHIBITION ON STANDARD CLAUSE

PBI 16/2014 also prohibits operators from including a standard clause in any agreement or document with consumers which:

– releases the operator from its responsibilities under PBI 16/2014 or assigns such responsibilities to

consumers;

– requires consumers to prove the loss of a payment system services benefit;

– grants the Operator the right to limit certain benefits to the consumers or to reduce consumers’ assets

the subject of the agreement or document; and

– requires existing consumers to be bound to new clauses or amendments in respect of the payment

system services which are made unilaterally by the Operator.
Standard clauses must not be in a position or form which is difficult to see or which makes them difficult to read. Their disclosure must not be difficult to understand by consumers.

COMPLAINTS MECHANISM

Where a consumer has submitted a complaint with an Operator’s dispute resolution unit but the parties have not been able to reach agreement, the consumer may submit the complaint to Bank Indonesia. The complaint must be of a civil (not criminal) nature and not subject to arbitral or court proceedings or mediation.  The complaint must also have caused a potential loss to the consumer.  When assessing these complaints, Bank Indonesia can determine whether the operator caused a loss to the consumer and the amount of such loss.

PBI 16/2014 is silent on the timeframe for the operator to settle consumer complaints.

 

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For further information, please contact: lawyers@budidjaja.com

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